Ellen Burstyn, born Edna Rae Gillooly, is a 20-million-dollar American actress. Ellen Burstyn is a screen and stage actress renowned for “The Last Picture Show,” “The Exorcist,” “Resurrection,” “Requiem for a Dream,” and “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” for which she won an Oscar. “Same Time, Next Year” won her a Tony. “That’s Life,” “Political Animals,” “House of Cards,” and two “Law & Order” spinoffs feature Burstyn.
Burstyn’s first Oscar nomination came for “The Last Picture” in 1971. Her second nomination came following “The Exorcist” in 1973. She won the Oscar for “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” in 1974.
Burstyn won the Tony Award in 1975 for her portrayal in the Broadway film “Same Time, Next Year,” for which she also received a Golden Globe Award and her 4th Oscar nomination.
Ellen Barkin’s Success Story
Ellen Burstyn, born Edna Rae Gillooly, was an American actress recognized for her quiet elegance and versatility.
Gillooly grew up in Detroit but attended St. Mary’s Academy in Windsor, Ontario, in the 1930s. Her mother and stepfather were physically and verbally abusive, so Gillooly fled home in 1950, a few credits short of graduation. After Dallas and Montreal, she moved to New York City in 1954 and got a part in a TV musical. Edna Rae appeared on The Jackie Gleason Show (1956–57), while Ellen McRae debuted in Fair Game on Broadway in 1957. She married the play’s director, Paul Roberts, in 1958 (divorced 1962), and followed him to Hollywood. She accepted modest film and TV parts, including Perry Mason (1962). 1964’s Goodbye Charlie was her first major studio film. In 1964, she married actor and writer Neil Burstyn and began training with Lee Strasberg at The Actors Studio (also known as Neil Nephew; divorced 1972).
She debuted as Ellen Burstyn in the 1970 picture Alex in Wonderland. In 1970, she played Henry Miller’s wife in Tropic of Cancer. In 1971’s The Last Picture Show, about a small Texas community, she was nominated for an Oscar. Burstyn played a demon-possessed mother in The Exorcist (1973). She got studio backing for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974) and chose Martin Scorsese to direct. Burstyn won the 1975 Oscar for best actress for portraying a single mother. She won the best actress for Same Time, Next Year.
Burstyn later appeared in Providence (1977) and Same Time, Next Year (1978). In Resurrection (1980), she played a woman with healing powers following a vehicle accident. Throughout the 1980s, she largely appeared in modest films and TV movies. She appeared in When a Man Loves a Woman (1994) and The Spitfire Grill (1995). (1996). Her acting as an addict in Requiem for a Dream (2000) and as Barbara Bush in W were praised (2008). She played a pilot’s daughter in Interstellar in 2014. Lucy in the Sky (2019), Pieces of a Woman (2020), and Queen Bees (2021).
Burstyn received Emmys for her guest appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2008) and Political Animals (2012). In 2014, she played a mad matriarch in a TV adaptation of V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic (1979). Two years later, she portrayed the first lady’s (Robin Wright) vengeful mother in Netflix’s House of Cards. Burstyn appeared in The Children’s Hour (2011) and Picnic (2013).
Burstyn worked with Actors Studio. She served as artist director alongside Al Pacino from 1982 to 1986 and for two years after he resigned. In 2000, she became co-president with Pacino and Keitel. Burstyn was the first female Actors’ Equity president (1982–85). Lessons in Becoming Myself was her memoir.